Arsenal beat Roma on penalties after 43892141-hour epic

I must admit that my memory of last night’s epic 7-6 penalty-shootout win over Roma is something of a blur. A big, happy, confusing, exhilarating blur.

To condense three hours worth of some of the most stressful football I have every watched is a tough ask, almost as difficult as being forced to watch over the highlights of the game again. As a result, instead of the usual style of match reports I write on this blog, I’ve gone for a bullet-point account of what I remember to be the key points of an intensely stressful but ultimately joyful night:

First Half

  • Juan scores in the 9th minute to level the tie at 1-1. A mix-up between Gallas and Toure allows the Roma defender to nick in at the far post and he absolutely punishes them for it.
  • Almunia makes two fine stops to deny Motta and Taddei. The latter’s shot is going wide but he wasn’t to know and got down very sharply to tip the ball away.
  • Our boys muster their only decent chance of a woeful first half when Diaby’s header is aimed directly at Doni.
  • A rampaging Motta is denied what I feel was a clear penalty just before the break. Clichy tugged on his shirt but somehow got away with it. Arsenal fortunate to still be level in the tie. 

Second Half

  • Riise has a free-kick deflected by Totti’s rear end, but Almunia gets down to save.
  • Eboue over-hits a cross-field pass to Bendtner that would have seen the Dane through one-on-one. A disappointing pass given how few chances we were making.
  • Roma waste the best chance to double their lead when Baptista somehow fails to connect with Totti’s low pass. An unbelieveable miss.
  • The 90 minutes ends with Toure heading over our best chance of the match, set up for him by van Persie.

Extra-Time

  • I watched the entire extra-time period and cannot for the life of me remember anything interesting happening. 

Penalties

  • Our team gets the advantage by being allowed to kick first, but subsitute Eduardo promptly wastes it by having his shot saved. I nearly cried at this point.
  • Pizarro – who spend the majority of the game crying about injuries – nails his penalty, as does van Persie.
  • My Roma man-crush Vucinic tries to be too clever and has his straight-down-the-middle penalty saved. Great nerves shown by Almunia to stay put.
  • Nasri and Montello both score confident penalties. Then Denilson wanders up and does the same, smashing it down the middle.
  • At 4-3 and with one Roma kick left, Totti scores a great kick to keep them in it. I was hoping he would miss to make up for knocking Australia out in the 2006 World Cup, but he’s too good for that.
  • Things reach boiling point as Toure, Aquilani, Sagna, Riise and Diaby all score.
  • Tonetto blasts his shot over the bar and Arsenal win. Unbelievable.

Anyone who watched this game will know how awful it was. On a technical level we were truly horrible, unable to fashion any clear-cut chances and allowing Roma to dictate the pace of the game. But it mattered very little in the end because when the penalties came, on a mental level, we were superb. To score 7 out of 8 penalties as an away team in such a pressure-cooker situation was immense, something that Arsene Wenger spoke about after the game:

“I am proud of the mental strength because that is something which has been questioned a lot in our team. You could see that we have improved tremendously on that front. After conceding a first early goal on a missed cross and missing the first penalty after 120 minutes, you need something special, mental strength to come back and win it.” 

And he’s absolutely right. It will be a real boost to players like Denilson and Diaby that they put their kicks away. I have to admit that when those two stepped up – as well as captain Toure – I was absolutely sh*tting myself. In fact, the only player who I didn’t feel that way about when they took their kick was Eduardo, the only player to miss. Football is a funny game like that.

I think it’s also important to make the point of how lucky we are to still be in the Champions League this season. I am one of surely many fans who are still reeling from the injustice of last season’s exit to Liverpool but I have to admit that we were just as fortunate tonight. Motta should have been awarded a penalty and Baptista’s miss was truly awful, the sort of thing that rarely happens at this level. It could and should have been all over in regular time and we can thank our luck stars it wasn’t.

In saying that, I don’t want to take away from the joy and relief of last night’s result. A penalty-shootout victory is always something special (I think Australian fans will especially agree) and the confidence that can flow – a sense of destiny, even – out of it can have a huge impact on a group of players.

As such, let’s celebrate!

Have your say on Arsenal’s epic win over Roma by leaving a comment.

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74 Responses to “Arsenal beat Roma on penalties after 43892141-hour epic”

  1. gunnershabz
    March 12, 2009 at 6:53 pm #

    we might of been lucky, but i guess we need luck to win trophies, just ask liverpool

  2. Gibbs
    March 12, 2009 at 7:01 pm #

    Hoorah! After all my years of being an Arsenal, ive come to one simple conclusion. Luck plays a major role in the CL, Manu were lucky to win it last year, Liverpool are 5 time champs b/c of pure luck, we have never won the CL b/c luck was never on our side, but it looks like thats about to change. We were lucky last night. Maybe this is our time.

    All our players will be available for the last 8 and i dont mind taking on any non English team, Barca and Bayern included. I feel confident about winning the CL this season, this season is just different from the rest. Something’s gotta give.

  3. Fatboy
    March 12, 2009 at 7:09 pm #

    A fair summing up, my friend, although it should be borne in mind that had we taken some guilt-edged chances at the emirates, the tie would have been over a fortnight ago. We never got going last night. I’ve rarely seen so many passes go astray from an Arsenal team. Most of the team were poor last night, against far from impressive opposition. I thought Almunia did well, as did Toure, Gallas and Sagna. Clichy looked wobbly all night, and he was very lucky with the penalty. The midfield generally was ineffective; Denilson got stuck in well, but his distribution was woeful all night. Diaby worked hard, but played as he does in the Premiership and got caught in possession far too often. Eboue never got going. The ball bounced off Bendtner’s shins as it does far too often, and Nasri huffed and puffed without making any progress. This probably accounts for why RvP was pretty anonymous. We had 13 corners last night, and it still puzzles and annoys the nhell out of me why RvP takes all the ones on the left, leaving short-arses like Nasri, Walcott and Eduardo in the box looking for the header. Bendtner rarely makes intelligent runs from set pieces, so we rely on the centre backs coming through. Surely Nasri could take the kicks and RvP try to get on the end of them?
    Having said all that, I agree we were superb in the penalty shoot-out. It says a lot about Mr Wenger’s old chestnut about mental strength that a team of generally young players can deal with that sort of pressure as well as they did. I can’t deny breathing a sigh of relief that both Eboue and Bendtner weren’t around for the penalties!
    We have to face the fact that we’re now one of the weakest teams left in the competition, so we need some luck in the draw now. Villareal or Porto would be our best bet I think. If we are to play Barca or Man Utd, I’d like it to be in the final, as I honestly think we’d struggle over 2 legs. Still, let’s bask in last night’s result before we face a parked bus from Blackburn on Saturday!

  4. staslohness
    March 12, 2009 at 7:10 pm #

    we should have decided everything in home game.. hope in 1/4 we will start away.. and with Porto/Villareal=).. and with Liverpool in 1/2 with our win (for last year).. and with Barcelona in final with our win (for 2006 in Paris).. It will be great! And with our 1/2 win over Chelsea and MU in final of FA cup. In this case I’m ready for 5th place in Premier-League=)

  5. Deressa Bedada
    March 12, 2009 at 7:15 pm #

    I am in love with the gunners, but disappointed with my loved coach. Please try to fill the gups for betterment.

  6. Spanish Fry
    March 12, 2009 at 7:54 pm #

    @ Fatboy – Yep, there are lessons to be learned from not taken our chances in the first leg. Wenger needs to stress to the boys the importance of taking chances because last night showed they’re not always going to be created.

  7. rosicknote
    March 12, 2009 at 8:10 pm #

    woke up at 6.45 in the bloody morning just to watch arsenal play. was boring as hell, as well as frustrating, but at the end of the day….

    I DONT FUCKING CARE ! WE’RE IN THE LAST 8 WUHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  8. ib
    March 12, 2009 at 8:15 pm #

    i’m so hapy,arsenal got through

  9. rilub
    March 12, 2009 at 8:27 pm #

    Good to see the luck went our way for a change. It was a clear penalty foul by Clichy. The Hleb and Babel penalties against Liverpool last year were wrong so I guess it all evens out in the end. As most people have noted the performance last night was poor and on that form no team would be worried about drawing us in the quarters. Hopefully with our injured players fit we will be a better unit. We shouldn’t have to rely on hope though. I am surprised that some people have said that Almunia’s performance was good last night. I for one was previously surprised that some sections of this board were slagging him off, but after his performance last night I must admit the jury is out on him in my mind. He lacked composure when it came down to penalties. He was still in shock during the interview and admitted that he was unsettled. His attempts at saves during the pens were woeful. His attempted save for the first goal reminded me of the 2nd goal in the CL final. It doesn’t look like he is a big game player. There is no way Crazy Jens would have bottled it. He would have been whispering sweet nothings about eating their children as they walked up to take their spot kick.

  10. Spanish Fry
    March 12, 2009 at 8:36 pm #

    @ rilub – You can’t be serious knocking Almunia last night. He saved a kick and was solid throughout the game. I don’t understand why you would bother knocking him? It makes no sense to me.

  11. FunGunner
    March 12, 2009 at 8:51 pm #

    I agree, SF – Almunia was our best player last night.

  12. Mimi Wenu
    March 12, 2009 at 9:16 pm #

    I did not watch the match but from your comments on our performance I am glad I didn’t.I just hope the return of our injured players will help us deal with our inconsistent form.I have not heard about Walcott and Eduardo’s performance in the match-or were they on the bench?

  13. AR
    March 12, 2009 at 9:17 pm #

    Almunia had a blinder.

    SF, why do you always talk about the games as last night, when they are on at 5:45am here in Vegas? Do you get more OS readers than OZ?

  14. Emeka
    March 12, 2009 at 9:23 pm #

    I really wasn’t pleased with our play last night. I was afraid when the other english clubs had qualified and we were yet to. I thought arsenal wud give me a birthday gift by winning easily but it was not so as was tensed throughout. I believe with the other injured players returning,we wud do xtremely well. By the way, does anyone know when tomas rosicky is coming cos he’s been out for a long over an injury that doesn’t last that long. Pls,i beg all you to come back lets end this season well.

  15. tina
    March 12, 2009 at 9:31 pm #

    im glad lady luck was smiling at the gunners coz luck is neva on our side yet too much on the liverpool side,it’s good we’ve won,even if through penalties doesn’t matter.let’s just hope 4 thumping of fools,manures and chelshit ahead.

  16. Spanish Fry
    March 12, 2009 at 9:31 pm #

    @ AR – Yeah, definitely more overseas readers. Also, I like to write the game in the context that it’s actually played. Otherwise it gets a bit confusing :S

  17. rilub
    March 12, 2009 at 9:32 pm #

    sorry but i thouhgt he was not looking that confident-

  18. Spanish Fry
    March 12, 2009 at 9:32 pm #

    @ Mimi Wenu – Both Walcott and Eduardo started on the bench. They came on with 10 minutes of normal time left and both took penalties. Walcott snuck his in but Eduardo missed!

  19. nigelp
    March 12, 2009 at 9:33 pm #

    well done lads for last night, but i was angry that van persie palyed the whole game he should of came off for vela from 60 minuets he played poor yesterday and despite him having 15 goals this term i dont think he is that much of a threat anymore, watch van persie play if he dont get the ball on his left foot he dose nuthin scores nuthin, and its sad to seen that he makes no attempt to use his right foot to shoot. vela and eduardo should start, them to are much more creative than van and adebayor, and theres evidence to prove that. diaby was class last night as was the rest of the team. but im sure vela would of made more impact than van persie. keep up the good work lads.

  20. Alex Phelan, Manchester
    March 12, 2009 at 9:46 pm #

    How on God’s green earth were Arsenal lucky?? We beat Roma, one of the top sides in Italy, on our home turf and then after a poor start in Rome managed to dominate the game on their turf. We then went on to beat them on penalties despite the inexperience of our side; there are few things harder in such an intense atmosphere with such a young team and I, as well as most other Gunners I’ll wager, thought we were done for by the time it got to that stage. They proved me wrong and I am hugely proud. We are in the quarter-finals of the Champions League now. It’s totally messed up that you heap praise on United who were for the most part awful against Inter (although it’s right that they should recieve praise for qualifying) and yet make out that Arsenal fluked it. And if there’s even a glimmer of a chance that you could somehow be referring to the decision not to grant Roma a penalty after Clichy’s tackle…well I would bring your attention to all the shocking decisions that went against us last season and suggest that we had to accept that it was all part of the game…and such is the situation in this instance. A decision goes against you? Tough, try again. And that is what Arsenal do, doggedly continue in the face of media sniping and cynicism

  21. Suryabharti
    March 12, 2009 at 9:50 pm #

    Alex totally agree with you mate. I must say, even though I am a very biased Arsenal fan, to see our victory on pens described as ‘lucky’ is very suprising. I’ll be the first to admit that we weren’t great on that night, far from it. However, we were head and shoulders the best team in the first leg and first half aside, we dictated the game for the following 75 minutes tonight – despite Roma morphing into Bolton. Okay, so we didn’t create many clear-cut chances and we were effectively broken down on the edge of the area time and time again, but surely Roma’s ‘everyone behind the ball except Totti’ tactic is testiment to the threat we possess if given time and space. From the second half onwards, we rarely found ourselves with backs against the wall and in fact, throughout the whole match, Almunia was seldom tested. The way I see it, to look comfortable in a situation where Chelsea were thumped earlier on in the season should surely be looked upon positively?

    Should Liverpool or Utd have gone through in the same way, I’m sure it would be described as a ‘gritty’ performance where their players showed ‘nerves of steel’ all the way through to the penalty shoot-out. Arsenal get the result and it’s lucky. Either way, we’re through and if you insist on it being lucky, let there be more to come.

  22. Fatboy
    March 12, 2009 at 10:14 pm #

    @ Alexd and Suryabharti – you guys are absolutely right. Although we played far below our best last night, Roma hardly peppered our goal did they? At the end of the day, it’s who’s into the next round that counts. If fairness came into it, Liverpool wouldn’t have got passed us last year. If we can play poorly and still get through with endeavour, guts, bottle and a little bit of luck, I’m happy with that.

  23. Peter Georgiadis
    March 12, 2009 at 10:22 pm #

    Arsenal on the balance of play in both legs deserve to be in the last 8…. We cant seem to get our name out of the media, so the youngsters are under huge pressure and i do believe this victory is a massive boost in confidence… to do what some of thouse youngsters did in such a hostile enviroment is superb…

    RVP had a nightmare last night… Nasri wasnt as sharp as he should be.. but i thought Diaby and Denilson (for once had a good game).

    So all in all with FABCESC comming back in 2 weeks and adebayor coming back, with that Czech fellow we are looking good.

    I do hope we land a Man U or a Barca in the QF as i believe if u want to win it you must prove it…

  24. Gibbs
    March 12, 2009 at 10:35 pm #

    @ Alex
    We were lucky last night. Roma were denied a clear penalty when Clichy fouled Motta.

  25. Jay
    March 12, 2009 at 10:46 pm #

    Just got home in the last few hours from Rome.

    Would like to say the rome fans are fucking animals. One of the coaches (6 coaches behind me!!) was ambushed and a man has been treated for stab wounds in his leg – he made the game and didnt miss a thing. The whole game, they throw stuff at you, like its a zoo. Scum every single one of them.

    More to the poiont, they want to host the fianl here??!!?!? Nice one Platini – how do u feel now that 4 english sides have made it past KO round one again, you prick??!?!

    We all know you wont take the final away from Rome, coz you have no bollocks and will never do any good for the game.

    Another quick point, singing the Lazio song right into there faces was truly golden – We out song them all night and all they can manage is some random screeching/booing sound.

    It wasnt great, but we are through. Love it.

  26. KURUPT
    March 12, 2009 at 11:02 pm #

    On ya JAY keep it up. Im on top of the world A-R-S-E-N-A-L.

  27. butterfingers
    March 12, 2009 at 11:57 pm #

    How good was riise though as we could of done a lot more in the final 1/3 if he wasn’t there. Fucked off about the rolling around bullshit I just saw as one minute juan kicking the ball out complaining about his leg and next he’s ran off the pitch and then jumped on one of the subs hugging after scoring. The ref had a great game but if it’s not a pen it should be a booking for the other side as motta went down easy (seen less given) but rvp could of got one also but really soft also. dudu missing was the point when I was nearly sick in my mouth got home after an 11 hr shift to sit through 2 hours of football and then piss it up the wall but still we won and I don’t think I will ever watch a longer game again when I was tempted to jump on-line and see the score.
    Can we play other english sides in the next round anybody?
    Well villa will be rested after not being in the fa or uefa cups so we will have to really grind out a result this weekend and then smash hull in the fa cup.

  28. Filipino Dan
    March 13, 2009 at 12:48 am #

    Following the Beast’s miss and Walcott’s dodgy penalty, I have noticed a few grey hairs coming through on my far-too-young head. That’s was a difficult watch but I’m delighted for everyone.

    So we’re well on our way to the FA Cup, we’ve progressed in the Champions League (let’s hope for Porto or Villareal) and now a huge game awaits us on Saturday. After all, if we win and Tottenham do us a favour against Villa, we will move into our rightful fourth place position!

    I’m hoping a fresh Arshavin will give us a huge boost to push for that on Saturday!

  29. simba
    March 13, 2009 at 12:49 am #

    @SF, did you watch the interview with him afterwards? he didn’t seem himself and even admitted that he was unsettled during the penalty shoot-out. Sure you expect your GK to be a little bit nervous during penalties but a superior goalkeeper is able to deal with the pressure. Jens would have been trying to unsettle every single one of their penalty takers. Almunia had one feeble attempt to do this (against Totti I think) that smacked of awkwardness. There were only 3 unstoppable penalties out of the 8. He only got a hand to one, and that was the one he saved, which happened to be the worst penalty ever taken. Don’t get me wrong, I thought he earned his place last year with some quality performances, but taking last nights performance and his performance in the CL final I am starting to get the feeling that he is not a big game player.

  30. Fatboy
    March 13, 2009 at 1:41 am #

    @ simba – I think you’re being a bit harsh on Almunia. You can’t compare him today to the keeper of the CL final in ’06. I don’t for one second agree with Wenger that he’s world class, but he’s now a staedy, Premiership-quality keeper. I can’t remember him losing us any points this season. He commands his area a lot more than he used to and he’s a good shot-stopper. You mention mad Jens (who I agree was a better keeper), but at least Almunia doesn’t spend 5 or 6 games a season suspended. By rights, a keeper should never be able to save a penalty, so to say he should have saved more than he did last night is going over the top. He was a lot more imposing than the Roma keeper.

  31. Fatboy
    March 13, 2009 at 1:44 am #

    Link to yahoo’s CL team of the week:

    http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/12032009/58/champions-league-team-week.html

    Guess who the keeper is?

  32. jay-jay
    March 13, 2009 at 1:50 am #

    Almunia pulled off important saves and he cannot be blamed for the goal we conceded, I am not an Almumia fan but you just cannot knock him last night, he saved a pen (it was a very poor pen) but he saved it and we are through. Very bad game for us, There was no urgency about us, we didnt seem like we wanted to score and Roma absolutley hammered us, we are very fortunate to be through but for ONCE we had luck and you do need luck to win trophies.

  33. TayGoon
    March 13, 2009 at 2:05 am #

    Bring on ManU! I am getting sick and tired of hearing the qui*&^%*$ crap going arround. Let’s face it, We have been the only team to constantly outplay ManU as of late and probably the only best chance in stoping them. I don’t want an easy tie as we do well facing the big boys. With all the Big Guns back, it will be time to make a statement!

  34. cmoney_guns
    March 13, 2009 at 2:19 am #

    correct me if im wrong but with as much as our so called “youngsters” have been through this season can we still call them youngsters. they play with the head of most experienced players. they have kept us within striking distance of 4th place and now have put us through to the 1/4’s. i cant wait till we get cesc, rosicky and adebayor back but untill then im not to scared of letting the youngins play

  35. Radads RSA
    March 13, 2009 at 3:08 am #

    You guys are all Right, We were lucky last night, but we were also unlucky durin the first leg and we outplayed them so far durin the first leg game quality wise.They all say that it was an undeserved win but if we take on, the 1st and the 2nd leg together, we were far better away than they were at the Emirates, we missed 7clear chances at home and they ve missed only 3 clear chances including the penalty (deserved)caused by Gael Clichy.So far so good,I would have loved to see Walcott startin instead of Eboue, anyway, doesnt matter anymore to me, we won the game and we are thru.Diaby’s best position is AM, and he has prooved that he can do it, I loved his game yestday, my weakest link yestday: Denilson,The lad isnt convincing on the CDM job to me, Song is far better than him.Roma game would have been totaly different if Song was on instead of Deni.Apart from that, I see our team taking off for confidence and mental strength and I dont really care who we are gonna face next coz I know, Fabuluous is close to be back in action as well as Bayor, So BRING it ON!!! We are ready now!!! Blackburn??? No worry, we ll crash them like ashes/.

  36. GetGunMN
    March 13, 2009 at 3:55 am #

    This is my first comment even if I have been reading this blog for quit a long time. I for one don’t believe we played that bad provided the atmosphere in Stadio Olimpico. Some of you even questioned Almunia’s ability to stop anyone of the pens, but he certainly stopped the one that came right in the middle. You can not say that about Doni. He looked all, but beaten the whole time after he saved the first one. If you can sit though it again, please go back and watch the game. Roma simply played much better than two weeks ago which is understandable. We did not capitulate as Real did so thouroughly. I also prefer the stronger team for the next round to Porto or Villarial. I’m sure you know by now our kids step up to the plate when they play the big boys. Until then savour the win!

  37. butterfingers
    March 13, 2009 at 10:14 am #

    @ radads if eboue had been on would you of wanted him to take the pen? deni played really well I thought as I’m not his biggest fan but he puts in the effort and he hardly has a mentor to teach him think of the youngsters at the other big 4 they have the likes of lampard, essien, giggs, scholes and gerrard to teach them so he’s learning for himself and not doing a bad job but give me the likes of merson, viera and petit anyday.
    Also all those people saying mad jens is better than almunia are also mad as by the time manu is jens age he will be better and he hasn’t been sent off as far as I can remember and if it wasn’t for mad jens we might of won the cl and kept pires also.

  38. MoMONEY
    March 13, 2009 at 10:31 am #

    Man Utd wont beat Bayern/ Liverpool/ Barca. And I think we would have a shot against them as well… But I am still hoping for an easier draw so Cesc can get acclimated before taking on the big guns in the semis…

  39. MoMONEY
    March 13, 2009 at 10:42 am #

    And I know now is hardly the time but Valencia are desperate to sell David Villa…. He likes us, we need better finishers- Im just saying…..

    People will say its all Man City because they need as much $$$ as possible but I dont think they would banish a loyal player like Villa like that. If Arsenal showed interest I feel like we would be favorites… Of course we would have to sell Adebayor to pull this off…

  40. Spanish Fry
    March 13, 2009 at 10:46 am #

    @ MoMONEY – That’s a very bold prediction with regards to Man United. I’d say they’re the team to beat and I think they’re favourites for the Champions League.

  41. Spanish Fry
    March 13, 2009 at 10:47 am #

    Also, the Villa situation has arisen because Valencia are MASSIVELY in debt. They will want to sell for as much as possible because they have almost 500 million Euros worth of debt. Unfortunately in this situation we’re not well-placed to land a player like Villa because it’s all about the money!

  42. Spanish Fry
    March 13, 2009 at 10:49 am #

    @ butterfingers – Eboue taking a penalty would have given me a heart-attack. It’s probably best that he was on the bench 🙂

  43. Darragh
    March 13, 2009 at 11:48 am #

    Looks like we’ll be playing Chelsea in the quarter final of the FA cup….assuming we beat HULL.

  44. MoMONEY
    March 13, 2009 at 11:54 am #

    I realize its bold. Liverpool they could beat but it would be an incredible tense tie. Id love to watch it. Barca will be out for revenge after they dominated last year but still lost. Messi will put on an absolute clinic. And Bayern is still somehow being slept on. They can win the whole thing IMO. Ribery is as good as anyone on the planet and the German mentality simply wins. Wouldn’t be shocked to see them in the final…

    Part of me really wants Man United but I want us at full strength for that so maybe the semi would be a better fit for it… We should get our shot at them in the FA cup final… Cant wait to see the draw…

  45. cfpy211004
    March 13, 2009 at 1:43 pm #

    To be fair, Arsenal deserved to win. Sure, Motta had a penalty claim but it stops just there. In my opinion, there is no penalty. Fact is, Clichy lost his balance and went down in the box. I do feel he brushed on Motta a little but it wouldn’t have caused him to fall. So there, maybe SF and I saw the incident differently. As for Baptista miss – he could have put Roma 2-0 up, that’s true, but have we forgotten the glaring misses Arsenal had during the first leg which could have had us coming to Rome with a far bigger lead? So, factoring in all these facts, yeah, Arsenal weren’t too good yesterday but most importantly we won and deserved it.

  46. Radads RSA
    March 13, 2009 at 3:55 pm #

    beautifully said mate!!!!I totly agree with you.

  47. francis quansah
    March 13, 2009 at 6:26 pm #

    i am a player

  48. Blessed
    March 13, 2009 at 7:01 pm #

    thank God for Jesus!!!!!!!!! we surely jump out of the source pan.

  49. enemyairships
    March 14, 2009 at 3:15 am #

    I wondered for a long time how our team would do in a penalty shoot-out. It’s all change since the last time we had to undergo one. I’m amazed that a team so young managed to keep their nerve in such overpowering conditions.

    Then again, they are pretty skilful players. Eduardo out of everyone is the player I’d have expected to score the most comfortably! I hope he’s not too put out by the miss.

    I read an article recently that said we are so great at penalty shootouts because we don’t have any English players! It’s probably not far from the truth.

  50. MoMONEY
    March 14, 2009 at 5:55 am #

    http://tribalfootball.com/eighteen-players-go-real-madrid-clearout-232491

    I dont know about you guys but Sneider, M Diarra, and some CBs would be very tempting to me…

  51. GPS Justin
    March 14, 2009 at 11:29 am #

    You can add my blog to your blogs list
    http://www.arsenalnet.blogspot.com

    Hailing from Sydney, Australia so a fellow Aussie watching here

  52. Gibbs
    March 15, 2009 at 12:57 am #

    Wow! the Mancs were totally destroyed today, 4-1.

  53. Gibbs
    March 15, 2009 at 3:16 am #

    Thats a bit more like it. 4-0, 2 from Arshavin and 2 from Eboue. Arshavin is one classy player, what a performance from him. Theo and Nasri were also sublime. A great perfomance all round, the only flaw was the number of clear cut chances Bendy missed, he was really annoying. It should’ve 6-0 at least.

  54. gunner
    March 15, 2009 at 3:20 am #

    Stupiest person on this earth: Diouf!!

  55. Luxinbrasil
    March 15, 2009 at 3:34 am #

    I agree with you Gibbs
    Great game and what a fantastic start….the Russian was immense as was Theo….i thought the teams performance was out of this world…just a shame Bendy couldnt finish..he would always find the right place to run too…he often beat his man with the ball but how he missed those chances…unbelievable…..gonna need you to explain once again ,SF, why you rate him so much….we need a man like Eduardo that will stay in the middle instead of wandering out wide…and can finish!

    Excellent result….heres to staying in the top four!

  56. Gibbs
    March 15, 2009 at 3:52 am #

    Al
    Sagna-Willy/Kolo/JD-Clichy
    ——Song—–
    Theo-Cesc-Nasri
    RvP-Eduardo-Arsha

    with Song acting as a DM/CB.

    We will demolish any team with this lineup. The future is bright people.

  57. RadadsRSA
    March 15, 2009 at 4:21 am #

    The curse of Morgan Clarke on The Dane

  58. TayGoon
    March 15, 2009 at 5:13 am #

    actually the dane did very well.

    I am liking what Song is morphing into. He is adding an attacking flair into his game. To be honest, I dont think we have to buy anyone come summer. Denilson has done nothing wrong. so has diaby and song. Song’s attacking endevours has made me sit up and take notice.
    everyone who is a regular on this site will have known my preferences. but with song’serformances in the last 2 games, I will fancy him, just because I know I will have a solid defensive display. My first pick for DM is still Denilson, but we have a hell of a deputy in SONG!
    As I said earlier, good things happen in Arshavin’s direction.

    how do you like Eboue now?!!??!?!?

  59. MoMONEY
    March 15, 2009 at 5:24 am #

    Wow Fernando Torres- I cant even quantify the ability he has… What a player.

    I know some will disagree with me but I would much rathe see Liverpool win the league then Man Utd though I dont think its possible with the media and entire of Britain in a love affair with Fergie. You have to respect Gerrard and Torres is incredible…

  60. mgeiks
    March 15, 2009 at 7:08 am #

    @ TayGoon
    I agree, Nic ddn’t do too bad, the final touch let him down. I’d be concerned if he wasn’t getting those chances. I was impressed by Vela’s touches, he’s wonderful to watch. Arshavin gets his first goal, a great 1 at that. He was creating problems for Bburn, had Nic finished those chances, the Russian could have had 4 assists. I’m also impressed by Song… He’s definitely stepping up his game.
    @ Spanish Fry
    It seems we’ve reached 4th way before the 1st..lmfao. Let’s hope our enemies do us a favour tomorrow [today for some], then there’s no losing that CPL spot

  61. Radads RSA
    March 15, 2009 at 7:57 am #

    the way The Dane is moving in the penalty area is just wonderfull,he’s becoming greater and greater, pretty sure that Bayor now has got to prove himslef once on the pitch,Im defntly sure that the Dane would be our favrite arrived the season’s end, he just need to work on his finishing and get rid of the curse of the Hottie Morgan Clarcke, otherways he’s perfect.Song was my best player tday, he completely controlled the mdfld, and apart from helping a lot the full back, he also gave lots of support to the attack.I must admit that Wenger is a genius on picking his players.Once agn I wasnt satisfied with Deni’s pefrmnce, I d rather see fab combined with Song.I dont really know where to fit Deni on the pitch, CDM? Song is much better than him, AM??? We got Fab comin and we also have Diaby, however, i can never say that he is a bad player cos he is very focused on the pitch and for a 20years old player, he’s just an excellence in terms of maturity and pace, so,its kind of givin me a bit of an unbalanced thought.If we just add Fab to our line up today then Id say that it was the real invincible gunners coming back.

    ———–SONG———-
    THEO——-FAB——NASRI
    ———–ARSHA——-
    ————RVP———
    Bayor, Bendy,Edu,for golden bench.
    The game today was just wonderfull to watch, I must admit that our 1st hlaf was ugly but the 2nd half was just fantastic.We are climbing the ladder tiptoeing guys, So far so good!!!!

  62. butterfingers
    March 15, 2009 at 8:19 am #

    Well there you go sf eboue would of scored against roma in the pen shoot out haha. I wanted arsharvin to get his hat trick though. Awesome performance and I’m starting to feel sorry for what hull will face but then again everytime I’ve got my hopes up this season I’ve been really let down.

  63. Spanish Fry
    March 15, 2009 at 9:53 am #

    Yaaaaaaaaaaaay!

  64. MoMONEY
    March 15, 2009 at 12:17 pm #

    16 Mill for Arshavin is going to look like an absolute robbery by the end of the season…

  65. jay-jay
    March 15, 2009 at 1:18 pm #

    I wud have paid his transfer just for his goal, it was amazing, he is an excellent buy.

  66. MoMONEY
    March 15, 2009 at 1:34 pm #

    Oh and BTW I’ve made a decision: I want Man Utd in next week’s draw! With Cesc and Ade back we will end their dreams and make the media look like the fools they are. Plus they will likely air it here in the states if thats the matchup. Looking forward to it. Please no Barca, Bayern, Liverpool (though we could probably handle Liverpool and revenge sounds nice)

  67. egnaronik
    March 16, 2009 at 3:07 am #

    tottenham is 1 up at halftime! whoo~

  68. MoMONEY
    March 16, 2009 at 3:55 am #

    Officially in 4th place now on goal difference…

  69. Gibbs
    March 16, 2009 at 4:13 am #

    Nice one Spurs. Now lets gun for 3rd.

  70. Gibbs
    March 16, 2009 at 4:17 am #

    Nice one Spuds, now lets gun for 3rd.

  71. Medeski
    March 16, 2009 at 4:29 am #

    I woke up late this morning after a long night out. Wandered bleary eyed over to the computer to check the scores and immediately my day was improved. Tottenham 2-1 @ Villa. We have Newcastle next in the league while Villa travel to Anfield. Hopefully opening a small gap in the table just before the long awaited return of our captain. He gets two matches to get back in the swing of things before we travel to Anfield to face a very strong looking Liverpool squad. The timing is fairly sublime.

    Last season we started so strong, only to finish in the most disappointing fashion. This season started as poorly as any season I can remember but is looking to end up on a series of high notes. FA Cup, Champions League, and we’re moving up in the league. Now, with the imminent return of key players, I am filled with hope and glee.

    Even Song, who I have continually said is not ready, has played very well these last few games. I will have to start pulling some cash together in case I need to throw down for plane tickets to the CL or FA cup finals.

    A very happy Sunday to you all!

  72. Jay
    March 16, 2009 at 6:42 am #

    Was quite bored, so i thought i would see if i could three arsenal teams from our current crop of players (first and reserve team players involved) and see how they would rate…Here goes.

    Almunia

    Sagna Toure Gallas Clichy

    Rosicky Cesc Denilson Arshavin

    RvP Eduardo

    ============================

    Fabianski

    Eboue Djourou Senderos Gibbs

    Walcott Diaby Song Nasri

    Adebayor Bendtner

    ============================

    Mannone

    G.Hoyte Silvestre Nordtveit Traore

    Merida Ramsey Wilshire Randall

    Simpson Vela

  73. Spanish Fry
    March 16, 2009 at 8:13 am #

    @ Medeski – An FA Cup or Champions League final sounds very nice to me.

    To everyone else, I’ll have a match report and some thoughts on everything going on later today. Sorry about the last of a post since Thursday, just been busy, busy, busy.

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